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St James' Feast Day - Tarta Santiago recipe


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Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
People around the world will celebrate the feast day of St James the Greater tomorrow.
In South Africa, feast day get-togethers will be held on Saturday and Sunday with mini-camino walks, special church services, blessing of pilgrims soon to leave for Spain or France, and shared Spanish food.
If you would like to celebrate with a Tarta de Santiago almond cake, here is my favourite recipe:


* 2 2/3 cups ground almonds
* 3/4 cup Flour
* 1 1/4 cup Sugar
* 4 Eggs
* 8 Tbsp butter (1 cube) at room temperature
* 1/2 tsp baking Powder
* 1/2 cup Water
* zest of 1 Lemon
* powdered sugar to decorate


Heat the oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a round 8-inch spring form pan.

Blanch the almonds, then using a grinder or a food processor, grind the almonds until fine and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together. Add the butter, flour, baking powder and water and beat with an electric hand mixer.

Stir the almonds into the batter. Grate the lemon and add the zest and stir until thoroughly mixed.

Pour batter into cake pan. Bake in oven on the middle rack at 350 F degrees for approximately 45-50 minutes. Check after 45 minutes. Cake is done if a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

The traditional way to decorate is to sprinkle powdered sugar on the top, with a cutout of a cross or a shell, to symbolize St. James, on top.

To make a cross, you can print out this picture of the cruz santiago that I am going to use, or you could use any clean piece of paper folded in fourths to cut out a cross. Then, after the cake has cooled, place the cross in the center of the cake and dust the top with powdered sugar.

Prep Time: 15 minutes; Cook Time: 45 minutes; Yields: 8 servings



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Active Member
Thanks for posting the recipe. I brought a Tarta de Santiago home with me after my Camino to share with friends. I'd been planning to look for a recipe and now I don't have to. Looks great. Thanks!

Red Kite

I'll be trying this recipe...thanks Sil.

For starters I'll be doing Caldo with scallops as a main course.

And we've a bottle of Albarino to wash it all down...what time can you all be here?


Staff member
I've made Tarta de Santiago several times since I got back from the Camino this year with my new metal stencil from Santiago. I have used the recipe that I've read is the "most authentic." Eggs, sugar, ground almonds, maybe some almond extract. period. I've tried it both beating the egg whites separately and just throwing the whole egg into the bowl. It's good, but I personally find it a little too "almondy.' I'm assuming that adding some flour would offset that taste and would also make it more cake-y and more like the tarta de Santiago we get all over the Camino. I'm sure flour is added because it's so much cheaper than ground almonds. So I don't mean to offend the purists, but I was searching for a recipe with some flour and this one came up from Sil.

I guess I'll just go ahead and try this recipe, but I'm a little surprised at how much butter is called for. If you've either made this recipe or another one with some flour, your advice would be most welcome! Buen camino, Laurie



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